On December 19, 2018, Sharon, my wife of 42 years, went in for a fairly routine surgery to remove a football-size benign ovarian cyst. It turns out that the cyst was filled with cancer. And then the cyst burst and spread the cancer.
Since then Sharon has had five chemo treatments. The first four lasted over five hours.
The doctors use a blood test called CA 125 to gauge how much cancer is in the body. Any number 35 or lower is considered cancer free.
Before surgery, Sharon’s number was under 35. After surgery, her number was 215. That number went up, not down, to 315 after her first two chemo treatments. So they added a third chemo drug, and then her numbers dropped to 72 and then to 34.5. That suggests she is cancer-free. That was after four treatments.
But because cancer can return, they continued with a fifth chemo session. But the doctors dropped one of the three chemo drugs because Sharon was reporting lots of pain in her feet. Therefore, her fifth chemo, which she had in late April, lasted only two hours.
Sharon’s sixth and last chemo is scheduled for May 24, the day after our national conference ends. Sharon had it postponed one week so she’d feel up to attending the conference.
This battle has been very hard on both of us. Sharon had never been sick before. No surgeries and no hospitalizations before our 42nd anniversary. And I’ve been extremely healthy too, with only a few bouts with kidney stones and one minor hernia day surgery.
Sharon lost her hair. Even her eyelashes. For some reason, maybe it was dropping the three-hour chemo drug before chemo five, Sharon’s hair has started to grow again. Just a little. But it is an encouragement.
The biggest encouragement has been all the people who have told us that they are praying for Sharon. Even total strangers have taken down her name and said they would be praying for her.
We’ve had lot of family visits, which were really important the first few months, including my niece Tami, my nephew John Ethan twice, Sharon’s sister Lynn, Sharon’s sister Beverly and her husband Herb, Beverly a second time, and Sharon’s maid of honor, Marguerite, from Arkansas.
There are several prayer requests. First, that the pain in Sharon’s feet diminishes and even goes away. She describes the pain in her feet as though she has rocks in her shoes. Second, that Sharon gets her appetite back and her weight goes back up. She is very thin right now. Third, that she starts sleeping better. The surgery and chemo have made it harder for Sharon to sleep well. Fourth, I’d appreciate prayer for me to be an encourager and for me to be able to focus when at work.
A verse we cling to during this time is 1 Cor 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”